This Softball First And Third Rundown Drill is perfect for runners on first and third when there is the possibility of the runner at first attempting to get caught in a rundown. This should be one of the easiest defensed plays in the game if run correctly. Often what happens is the runner is allowed to go through to second base to prevent the runner from third from scoring.
Softball First And Third Rundown Drill
The pitcher starts it off by pitching the ball. Communication is key. The catcher must be alerted as soon as the runner takes off towards second. The catcher checks the runner at third and throws to second. The next move might get the runner on third to take off for home or she might just stay at third. If the runner at third takes off for home, the second base player steps in behind the pitcher and cuts the ball off to throw back to home plate for the tag. If the runner at third does not take off for home, the second base player lets the ball go through to the shortstop who is covering second.
This defensive play puts all the decision making on the runner at third, and forces her to make a decision while still having a chance at the runner going to second. However, this play relies heavily on communication and quick, fluid execution. There should be no hesitation on the part of the catcher, or other infielders.
If the runner on third moves too far off the base, throw the ball behind her and force her to run to home. Now you are in a rundown play situation. If the runner gets back to third and the runner from first base is still vulnerable, turn the attention to the back runner while keeping an eye on the runner at third.
The coach can set this drill up to practice any part of the play. It must be practiced often to get it right but when it works in a game, it is awesome. An out should be made somewhere.